Young Blood Gallery 15th Anniversary Show October 6, 2012

September 25 2012 . 06:07pm

For our anniversary show we invited all the artists we’ve done a major show with over the past 15 years to participate in a retrospective and celebration.  We wish we could have invited every artist we’ve worked with to join but after doing the math, that would have been 1200 people!  Below is the invitation we sent to the artists and a trip down memory lane.

Thanks to you, our supporters, for making this all worthwhile and hope to see you at there.

Please reminisce with us.

Fifteen years ago: 1997 was the year Princess Diana was killed in a car crash and Mother Teresa died. The year Notorious B.I.G. was shot dead. OJ Simpson was found liable for the murders of Ron Goldman & Nicole Simpson. Tyson was banned from boxing for biting Holyfield’s ear. It was the year smokers needed proof they are over 18 to purchase cigarettes in the U.S. A gallon of gas was $1.20. Clinton was president. The first genetically cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, was produced. Google did not exist.

In Atlanta, the Olympic fever had passed, and downtown’s hastily built parks meant to spruce up the city were becoming overgrown with weeds. Woolworth’s closed its remaining store. Freaknik was banned. Outkast and Goodie Mob gave rise to the “Dirty South,” and “crunk” was catching on. Kids through out the city were trying to perfect the Bankhead Bounce (in memory). The city played host to an active punk rock and DIY scene with well-attended house shows common in the still-gritty neighborhoods of Home Park and Grant Park. Peachtree St. was still home to the 24-hour dance club Backstreet, the Stein Club, and underage transtitutes. Atlanta art galleries were mostly limited to Buckhead and Midtown, and a career as an artist was specialized and rare. Art exhibits for young, local artists were even more rare.

Young and motivated by the DIY lifestyle, we went to Kinko’s that year and made black and white copies of our first artist call, inviting any and all artists to participate in a show to be hosted in our West End neighborhood living room.

In the 15 years since, you all have been what’s kept Young Blood going. We aimed to make Atlanta a more vibrant city, and thanks to you, we think we have!  It’s been a challenge, and there have been times when we’ve asked ourselves what the hell we were thinking. But the fact is, we love what we do and hope for 15 more years.

This October we’d like to host a retrospective exhibit that includes all the artists we’ve ever done shows with, and we invite you to participate. The show opens on October 6th, so we need one piece by October 1st.  We expect the show to garner a lot of attention and have plans in the works for an extra special opening night.  One of our goals is to show off our artists’ progress, so please send a piece that you’re extra proud of.

If you’d like to be involved, please respond to this e-mail and let us know you’re in. We’ll send more details soon after.

We hope you all are doing well, and we’re grateful that you’ve been a part of our gallery. We haven’t talked to some of you in a long time and look forward to seeing what you’re up to!


Kelly and Maggie

+ Share this post

HENSE – SPRAY | September 14 – October 20, 2012

August 31 2012 . 09:35pm

Find out more at: /

+ Share this post

HENSE | FLOAT – Arizona Avenue Murals

January 17 2012 . 05:08am

Warning: Illegal string offset 'link' in /nfs/c05/h05/mnt/159043/domains/ on line 516

I’m pleased to announce the completion of “Float.”Two new public murals which beautify the walls on Arizona Avenue underneath the MARTA and CSX rails.

The public works are roughly 18×100 feet and painted with exterior latex enamel and aerosol on concrete. The pieces were funded with a grant awarded by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. These murals are now an asset of the City of Atlanta and will be included in the permanent collection of public art.

Photographed by Steve Cole

This project was made possible by the support from:

Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Liz Lapidus Public Relations
PennHouse Productions
Sandler Hudson Gallery
Camille Russell Love
Monica Prothro
Robert Witherspoon
Theo Pace
Taylor Means
Stuart Golly
Candice House

+ Share this post

HENSE x BORN | Atlanta BeltLine public art program 2011

September 02 2011 . 02:23am

Warning: Illegal string offset 'link' in /nfs/c05/h05/mnt/159043/domains/ on line 516

We just finished up a public mural on a historic structure for the Atlanta BeltLine public art program 2011. I painted this one with longtime friend and collaborator, BORN. We spent roughly twelve hours a day for almost two weeks on the mural. We felt it was important for the work to show both of our tastes as artists and I think we succeeded. We titled the piece “Fruition.”

More information on the BeltLine exhibition below.

Exterior house paint and aerosol
35×120 feet

Photo Credit –  Brian Smith, Mai Phung and Tim Song.

This fall, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine returns for its second year as the city’s largest temporary public art exhibition, adorning trails and parks with striking displays of temporary visual art and performances. Enjoy art, music and hors d’oeuvres with artists, volunteers, sponsors, and City and Atlanta BeltLine leaders.

This year’s exhibition runs from September 9 to November 20.

When: Sunday, September 11th | 4:00 PM-6:00PM
Where: H. Harper Station | 904 Memorial Drive SE | Atlanta, GA 30316

Comfortable shoes are recommended for strolling on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor to view the art.

Parking is available at Trees Atlanta (225 Chester Ave.) and Stein Steel (933 Kirkwood Ave.)

+ Share this post

HENSE | With paint on his hands

August 27 2011 . 04:24am

The bastard children of the art community, often revered, but usually reviled– graffiti artists face scrutiny with every masterpiece they create or urban canvas they deface. Their craft toes a fine line of outrageous colors usually depicted as black and white by the public, but typically observed as a grey area.

The masses usually fall in two camps regarding their feelings about graffiti– love or hate, appeal or appall. There is rarely a middle ground. Though the city of Atlanta has recently resurrected what appears to be a one man Anti-Graffiti Task Force, you still can’t avoid the increasing presence and popularity of graffiti.

Do these masterfully spray-painted letters and images symbolize something much deeper than just tags left on a forgotten building? Are we witnessing art manifested through rebellion or just some punk kids doling out some good old fashioned anarchy after a NOFX show?

The choice is yours.

Graffiti writer come fine artist, Hense, is not only critically acclaimed for his contribution to the underground movement of graffiti, but also being sued for his involvement in the misunderstood art form.

Similar to a recovering alcoholic who still remembers the taste of his last drink, Hense is obviously torn about his past as he embarks in to new endeavors. His current style flows through the same vein of his former life, but he no longer has to worry about his work being buffed out.

Being solicited like a hooker on Ponce, the City of Atlanta is now on his side. For the second straight year, Hense has been commissioned to add to the cities urban landscape. Notably, his pieces adorn the path of the BeltLine, which is considered to be a defining moment of our great city.

Purge: How long have you been making art?

Hense: Pretty much my entire life. When I was in middle school and high school I was taking art classes in school and outside of that. I’ve always been in to drawing and I got in to graffiti when I was in 8th or 9th grade, something like that. That concept took over.

I grew up in Atlanta. There was a pretty big scene here in the early 90’s. I put everything in to graffiti. Then I started realizing that there are other things out there and I eventually started getting more attracted to traditional painting.

Purge: When did you stop doing graffiti?

Hense: I’ve been on and off for the past ten years, but probably in the last five years. It wasn’t a cold turkey thing it was just progressively less and less.

Purge: What influenced you to move in to doing graffiti when you were younger?

Hense: I think it was because I was in to the subculture of skateboarding, music and discovering an art form that was underground. It was creative and really secretive and not mainstream. I was really in to not being mainstream.

Purge: What were some of your musical influences at that time?

Hense: Bad Brains and all that shit. Do you remember Body Count? (Laughter) The Chronic, just like any rebellious stuff. Any kid at that age is probably in to that stuff.

Purge: What caused the progression that made you walk away from graffiti and move in to other forms of art? Was it just getting older and becoming an adult?

Hense: I think just being in my 30’s. I have a group of peers who are all graffiti writers who are a apart of the worldwide movement that is going on and you want to stay relevant within that movement. I’m still relevant because I’m moving in to doing public art installations and murals that are based off of graffiti. It’s like taking graffiti and making something out of it. It’s not just straight up letters.

Purge: What murals and installations are you currently working on?

Hense: I just did one for AOL in Orlando that was a commission for their office. I do a lot of corporate installations. I got a grant from the City of Atlanta to do a big exterior mural on Arizona Avenue. We’re dealing with red tape because it’s on Marta property and the city has to get in agreement with Marta. Hopefully, it should get started next month.

I’ve been doing stuff like that and work for the BeltLine. I did two pieces for them last year and I’ve talked to Ryan (Gravel) about doing some permanent work.

Purge: How did you get involved with the Art on the BeltLine Project?

Hense: I’ve always been drawn to the BeltLine. I used to walk the corridor before they had done any work on it. So I found two locations that would be great for murals or a sculpture and put together a proposal and got a good response.

Purge: Where are the two pieces that you did last year?

Hense: One is on Ralph McGill right by the Telephone Factory Lofts. It’s right under the BeltLine on the embankment of the underpass. The other one is underneath Virginia Avenue by Woody’s. You can’t access it by the road you have to walk under it.

Purge: Where do you want to do your piece this year?

Hense: We’re looking at Park Drive right on Piedmont Park. It’s going to be a collaborative piece. It’s on BeltLine property, but it’s a historic structure, so we’ll see.

Purge: With your peers in mind, working on commission pieces for AOL and the City of Atlanta, do you ever feel like a sell out?

Hense: I don’t really think that there’s such a thing as being a sell out. Shephard Fairey is sort of a hypocrite in a way, but he’s just a real driven guy. It’s really just about however you can make a living as an artist, sometimes you have to do corporate work. That’s the way I view it.

Purge: Hugh MacLeod who runs has a chapter in one of his books called the “Sex and Cash Theory” where he says most people need a job(cash) so you can have sex(art).

Hense: Absolutely. On the side, for fun I’ll produce commercial fine art for hotels and I do that because it’s bread and butter. It’s kind of like Tyson (McAdoo) with Turner. Its given me the freedom to have the lifestyle of an artist and go out of town if I need to for a project. At the end of the day, I take that money and apply it to my passion, my art.

Purge: So what would you say is your true passion and the vision for where you want to go with your art?

Hense: I want to keep doing the public murals and installations that I’ve been doing. Basically, do more of those in other cities, which I have done. I did one for Art Basel in Miami last year.

Purge: Was it a big mural of LeBron James?

Hense: Yeah it was… with a big Nike Logo.


I want to do more of that type of work that’s exterior and commissioned and on a really big scale and properly funded. I also want to continue showing my work with galleries.

Purge: Do you enjoy doing the bigger pieces more than the gallery work?

Hense: I enjoy doing both. It’s just a different beast. Doing stuff on wood and canvas and showing it in a gallery and having a gallery curate a show versus producing a public piece of work that’s in the public domain where everybody can see it. It’s just totally different. I think it just goes back to graffiti. A lot of artists don’t have the knowledge of working on a large scale because they weren’t involved with something that let them use tools to go really big.

Purge: That’s interesting because graffiti gave you the experience to work on these big pieces.

Hense: Yeah and that’s the positive. I really want people to understand that. There is a negative connotation with the word “graffiti”. People see it as crap, but there’s so much good. There’s so many amazing artists out there who have come from a graffiti background that are doing things that are really highly recognized in the world.

This guy JR who won a TED award, he does these huge black and white photographs and goes to third-world countries and creates huge installations on the sides of buildings. It’s all sanctioned. He started out doing illegal graffiti, but at this point he’s viewed as a public figure who’s giving back. He’s not just some punk.

Purge: You’re from Atlanta, but do you feel like you’re ever going to move on?

Hense: I love Atlanta. I really like what’s happening. It’s getting better. People from New York are moving here because it’s so competitive there. I refuse to believe that as an artist you have to be in New York. I think that because of the Internet you can pretty much be anywhere.

I’ve got some issues right now with some of the things going on in the city. I feel like the city is going in the right direction with things like the BeltLine, but on the other hand there’s some conservative backward thinking going on. I don’t know man. I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, but it’s always an option.

Photo Credit: Jason Travis

+ Share this post